I was not able to meet with either of the candidates. This annoyed me no end. Given the boisterous nature of dwarven politics I can understand their unwillingness to trust anyone not known to be loyal, but the additional delay to our quest makes me irritable. I made an appointment to meet with Dulin Forender, Lord Harrowmont's representative, late yesterday afternoon, and with Vartag Gavorn, Prince Bhelen's man, some three hours later. The meetings both resulted in tasks to be performed in order to prove myself worthy of an audience.
Dulin Forender accused Bhelen's people of blackmailing Harrowmont's fighters to force them out of honor battles, known here as Provings. I am supposed to convince them to reenter the lists by finding out what Bhelen's people used to coerce them and fixing it. Bhelen's man, Vartag Gavorn, claims Harrowmont has promised the same parcel of land to two different clans in return for their support, and that the affected parties will not find out about it before the vote to finalize the succession. He wants me to deliver copies of the promissory notes to both clans so that they have time to switch allegiance. I do not like being used in this way. It makes me feel sullied. However, I need to meet the two candidates in person before I can make any decision about who to support. This is too important to the Grey Wardens to leap into the political waters without checking for rocks first.
We had some time to wander the marketplace yesterday morning while waiting for the meetings. You should see the things they have on offer, Fergus! The variety is amazing, with goods from Antiva, Rivain, Orlais, Nevarra, Qunari lands, and all over Ferelden. I discovered Alistair almost drooling over an ebony statuette from Rivain, and Wynne was totally entranced by a book from Orlais. Zevran was captivated by some bars of pure metals. I found the most incredible dagger, dwarven crafted and sharp enough to cut air. The proprietor of the weapons stall guaranteed the blade will stay sharp through almost any punishment short of carving stone, and I believe him. Best of all, the prices are down due to Orzammar being closed to outside trade during the political commotion. If I can scare up a few extra coins, I know where they will be spent.
I will have to get going now if I am to accomplish the tasks set for me by the two groups. I think I shall deliver notes first. That should take very little time. Then off to the Proving grounds to talk to the fighters. Wish me luck!